Community offers perspectives at first-ever CARE summit

December 9, 2019

Blaze Advisors recently convened the first CARE Coordination Summit in conjunction with Network for Advancing Behavioral Health, Connected Community, and Triangle Behavioral Health Council and sponsored by WakeMed. 


During the fast-paced one-day summit, participants were able to hear from several speakers with roles in the behavioral health community – including local, state and regional speakers from organizations such as DHHS and Alliance Health – who offered up perspectives on a variety of topics. 


Tom Klatt, executive director, WakeMed Behavioral Health Network, said the power of a community summit is bringing a diverse body of caregivers together to hear and learn from one another. 


“At WakeMed, we understood a couple of years ago that we had a significant challenge to treat and provide care to mental and substance abuse patients. Our leadership committed to make significant strides to address these needs. Working with Blaze to establish Network for Advancing Behavioral Health (NABH) is the first step.” 


NABH was formed in 2017 and includes hospitals, clinics, and social service organizations working closely together to create a “virtual image” of patients’ needs and progress. 


“We are not even sure of the exact return,” Klatt continued, “but we are willing to make the investment to try and improve circumstances for patients.”


Kathy Smith, chief operating officer at Blaze Advisors, said it takes a community to support individuals with behavioral health needs, a community of medical, behavioral and social influencers. 


“It’s not limited to medical practitioners alone,” Smith said. “It’s everyone in the community. And when all of those people come together in person to meet each other face-to-face, it is extremely valuable to them in building ongoing relationships.” 


Klatt agrees. “Oftentimes the problems are so challenging – chronic diseases, behavioral health issues, and co-occurring social determinants of health – that it’s easy to feel like you’re not having an impact,” he said. “But by coming together, you see and feel that impact. It really gives you a sense of importance, value and impact. 


In other words, it ignites you to do more.”


Learn more about the CARE Coordination Summit – including speakers and presentations – at




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